Seven U.S. men, 16 women
in Australian Open qualifying
Victoria Chiesa | January 9, 2022
Seven American men and 16 women will compete in the qualifying draw at the Australian Open this week, bidding for a spot in the year's first Grand Slam.
Christopher Eubanks leads the American presence on the men's side, checking in as the No. 31 seed. He'll face Aussie wild card Tristan Schoolkate in his opener, with a potential second round match with former Top 20 player Bernard Tomic or Russia's Roman Safiullin, who was the breakthrough performer of last week's ATP Cup, up next. He's also in the same section of the draw as No. 10 seed Liam Broady of Great Britain and fellow American J.J. Wolf.
Joining Eubanks and Wolf in the men's qualifying draw are Ulises Blanch, Ernesto Escobedo, Bjorn Fratangelo, Mitchell Krueger and Michael Mmoh. Escobedo (pictured, above) comes to Melbourne as one of the most in-form players in the field after winning his fourth career ATP Challenger title in Bendigo, Australia last week. ADVERTISEMENT The 25-year-old opens his qualifying campaign against No. 32 seed Altug Celikbilek of Turkey, in the same section of the draw as top seed Andrej Martin of Slovakia. Fratangelo also fell into a section with a top seed; should he beat Argentina's Renzo Olivo in the first round, he could face No. 2 seed Norbert Gombos of Slovakia in the second round.
Mmoh was drawn into the sixth qualifying section in a first-round match against Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic, while the all-American match between Blanch and Mmoh rounds out the draw.
On the women's side, No. 21 seed Caty McNally is the only American amongst the Top 32, and she's joined in the field by Usue Arconada, Hailey Baptiste, Emina Bektas, Hanna Chang, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Jamie Loeb, Grace Min, Christina McHale, Asia Muhammad, Whitney Osuigwe, Alycia Parks, CoCo Vandeweghe, Sachia Vickery and Katie Volynets. Two Americans are garaunteed a spot in Round 2 as both Loeb and Parks and Chang and Volynets were drawn to face each other first up.
In addition, five of the unseeded Americans drew seeds in the first round. Di Lorenzo drew No. 7 seed Chloe Paquet of France, while Vandeweghe opens against No. 13 seed Zheng Qinwen of China. Both Vandeweghe and Zheng reached semifinals last week, with the former reaching the last four at the $60,000 ITF event in Bendigo and the latter qualifying to reach that stage at the WTA 250 in Melbourne. Elsewhere, Min opens against No. 23 seed Kateryna Baindl of Ukraine, while Bektas faces No. 27 seed Katie Boulter of Great Britain and Arconada takes on Boulter's compatriot, No. 29 seed Francesca Jones.